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Presenteeism: 41 “lost” days per employee each year

Canadians are not adopting healthy lifestyles because they suffer from mental fatigue. (Photo: 123RF)

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RÉVEIL-MATIN. In 2021, if Canadians have struggled to practice “healthy” lifestyles, it is because the majority of them suffer from mental fatigue, “a particularly unusual and interesting result”, indicates Manulife in its most recent Report. Well-Being.

Last year, this reason was not even among the three main reasons for this poor lifestyle, it is specified.

This should alarm organizations, because absences related to health issues and presenteeism cause them to lose 41.2 days per employee each year, highlights the insurer, or 16% of hours spent working.

The second pandemic edition of this survey of more than 6,000 workers in the country paints a portrait of their state of health and, at the same time, that of companies. This one was bleak in 2021.

Partly because of COVID-19, these Canadians “are having difficulty taking care of their health and adopting a healthier lifestyle,” we conclude.

Indeed, 74% of respondents experience one or more musculoskeletal disorders, which affect their performance at work in 24% of cases. Nearly 40% say they get less than 150 minutes of physical activity each week, while a similar number say they have at least three sources of health risk.

29% of employees surveyed sleep less than seven hours a night, largely due to the stress their work places on them.

The three main reasons for these difficulties, according to the Wellness Report, are that respondents feel mental fatigue in 63% of cases, that they lack time (38%), or that they are not motivated (34%).

Loneliness is winning over Canadians, with the share of those who say they experience it rising from 48% to 51% in one year. In addition, nearly half “present at least one risk factor related to mental health at work”, having especially difficulty finding a balance between their personal life and their work, and managing their workload.

Financial stress also affects their professional performance in a quarter of cases, while 57% of those surveyed worry about their “financial situation”.

Manulife’s Senior Director of Mental Health Best Practices, Dr. Georgia Pomaki, says companies can’t override such results. For those “struggling with mental health issues and severe fatigue […] returning to the office can feel overwhelming. Organizations must consider both groups to design effective back-to-office support programs.

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